This recipe came about from a leftover aubergine rolling around in the fridge that desperately needed using up, and one of my storecupboard staples, a can of red kidney beans, was happily on hand to help. Regular readers will know I love a lightly spiced veggie and bean burger – and this one is no exception. I have mine with a good dollop of mango chutney, wedged in a pitta or a bun with a fistful of salad – delicious!

Ingredients (makes four chunky burgers)

4 tbsp oil
1 Aubergine
1 onion
1 red chilli or a pinch of dried
1 tsp cumin
400g canned kidney beans
A few sprigs of mint or coriander
1 tbsp flour

First, dice and sauté the aubergine on a medium heat in a tablespoon of oil, with the sliced onion, chilli and cumin.

Meanwhile, boil the kidney beans in a saucepan until very soft and starting to split, which usually takes around ten minutes at a simmer.

Drain the kidney beans and add to a mixing bowl with the onions, aubergines, chopped mint and spices, and mash well to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix together. (You may need extra flour depending on how ‘wet’ your aubergine was, the mixture should not fall off an overturned spoon).

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to bind the mixture together – this stops them turning to mush in the frying pan!

Shape into 4 balls using floured hands, and flatten into the frying or sauté pan with the remaining oil. Cook on a medium heat for 8 minutes on each side.

Serve with pitta breads, or in a roll, or with rice, or home made wedges – however you like!


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  1. Now how did you know that that’s exactly the ingredients I have in the cupboards needing using up?! I know what dinner tomorrow will be, thank you!

  2. This is brilliant. I have some eggplant peeled and sliced in my freezer, been there for months, and this is something other than the usual pizza or pasta dish I make with eggplant. I can’t wait to try it out.

    Jack, I have some frozen fennel bulb, which I only know to cook with salmon in parchment paper. Any suggestions?

      • My dear, if customs would allow it, I would mail you some fennel seeds, as you are quite the talented gardener. My mama never much used the bulb, just the anise sprouting up top.

        Thanks for the suggestion. I will let you know how it comes out when I get the chance to try it.

      • PS – Keep on keepin’ it real.

        PPS – If I haven’t said it before, then I’ll say it again: you make me very proud to be Greek! And probably Greece needs someone like you more than UK, USA.

        PPPS – The revamped website is very profesh and reflects you in the way us fans see you. Great job, Koukla! You are gonna be alright after all!

  3. Sounds lovely. I like the way that aubergines absorb other flavours. Please come see me at my new blog – – well you wouldn’t want me to be a Billy no-mates would you? 🙂

  4. Sounds v nice. Just one question – when I make mousakka I do all that salting malarkey to “bring out the sour juices of the aubergine” (apparently). Is this not necessary for this recipe or am I actually adding more work for myself and its not even necessary for that one either.

  5. I know this sounds daft but… you boil the kidney beans in the juice in the tin or add water?
    Thank you

  6. Yowza that’s lush! And to think I’d never have even heard of it if it hadn’t been for R*ch*rd L*ttl*j*hn’s mean-spirited attack… Just goes to show that no publicity is bad publicity in the world of teh internets! 🙂

  7. This is such a great recipe. It even caters to the palates of vegans! Mix it with some quinoa and you’ve got yourself a complete protein all in one meal. I really like the idea of using the spices to add flavor. It’s always so much tastier than seasoning something with mostly salt. This could easily be turned into a lovely Italian dish too. Just change up the coriander and cumin for fresh sage and parsley. Top the final product with crushed tomato sauce and you’ve got a beautiful meal. Bon appetite!

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